Beaumont, Texas firm sued for firings based on costly medical risk

Signature Industrial Services, a refinery services company in Beaumont, Texas, faces an EEOC lawsuit after it fired three brothers, allegedly because they have hemophilia. People with hemophilia who are injured require expensive drugs to promote blood clotting.

The brothers all worked at Exxon Mobil’s refinery in Beaumont. All had excellent work records and one had even earned a substantial raise and a promotion.

According to a plant manager who supervised the brothers, the president of SIS and its vice president of operations ordered him to fire the brothers because the cost of their medicine would raise health care costs. The plant manager refused. Ultimately, that manager left the company.

A new manager was ordered to fire the brothers or be fired himself. He authorized a reduction in force in which only the three brothers lost their jobs.

They filed EEOC complaints alleging the company violated the ADA when it terminated them.

When efforts to resolve the charges through the EEOC’s conciliation process failed, the EEOC filed a lawsuit. It seeks back pay on behalf of the brothers, compensatory and punitive damages and other relief on their behalf, as well as reinstatement. The EEOC also requests a permanent injunction prohibiting Signature Industrial Services from engaging in any future disability discrimination.